So it’s February… one month well into 2018. And it’s finally time for that great hustle of the holiday season to quiet and for the rush of the new year to slow down as we settle back into our usual life routines.
For many, including me, new years are the perfect way/excuse to find the motivation to ‘get it together’, try new things and resolve to do or be more of something. ‘New year = new beginning’, a lot of us say. New Years Resolutions are set, goals made, and there’s just that mist of motivation in the air that gets a lot of people excited to change their life.
Days go by…. Weeks go by…. January 10th, 11th, 12th… 30th… And that mist of motivation seems to dwindle. That, I think is the hardest part of all. I think now – February – is around that time of the year when many people come to find that some of their New Year’s Resolutions were a bit harder to maintain than they initially thought.
Something I realised is that maybe it’s not just about the resolution itself, or the short term end goal you want to reach. Rather, it’s the long term life changes that are most important. For instance, if your goal is to ‘lose 10kgs’, that’s great, but what happens after you reach that goal?
I believe the most effective and sustainable way to reach goals is to change your lifestyle and habits to align with the kind of things you want to achieve. It starts with your day – your every day. Say if you wanted to ‘lose 10kgs’, what could you implement into your daily routine (that you know you can stick to) that will help you get there? That way, it’s easier to maintain and doesn’t feel as much work.
So today, if your resolutions are something you’ve been struggling with, or if you just want to improve some area of your life, here are a couple of ideas for habits you could try to incorporate into your daily routine.
*Quick note! The big tip here is not to attempt all of these habits at once (unless you want to! but I tend to get wayy too overwhelmed). Instead, pick one or two, try them for at least a week and see how you go from there. A great tool I use is my habit tracker, which I have available for free to download!
Now let’s get habit-making!
#1 Daily Habits for Health
1. Stretch for 5 minutes as soon as you wake up and/or right before bed
If there’s any ‘exercise’ you decide to add to your routine, let stretching be it! Stretching is perfect for blood flow and flexibility, and not to mention, it’s great for the mind. Whether it’s simply reaching for your toes, back stretches or even yoga – your body will thank you.
2. Do 100 skips every day
Okay 100 sounds a lot, but trust me, it’ll go by in literally a minute or two. You could make it a habit that after you brush your teeth, you’ll put on your favourite song and go skipping. It gets your heart beating and will be over before the song’s even done!
3. Do 20 jumping jacks or go for a light walk every hour
Especially for those working office jobs or studying a lot, it’s easy to forget to move around. Set an alarm on your phone for every hour and take a break to get moving.
4. Do a handstand or headstand every day
Because why not? I hear being upside down is good for blood flow and relaxation. If you’re like me and is terrible at both of these, this could be a fun challenge to work towards.
5. Plank for 1 minute
Core strength! You could make it a habit to plank riggght before bed.
6. Keep a bottle of water (or fancy tumbler cup) beside your desk at ALL times
I never particularly used to love drinking water… until I invested in the cutest tumbler cup which I now keep beside me when I’m at home. Makes me feel ‘fancy’ when I drink it. Hydration is key!
7. Fill up a large cup of water before bed so you can wake up to one the next morning
Speaking of hydration, drinking water as soon as you wake up is the perfect way to freshen up for a new day. If you fill the cup the night before and keep it beside your bed, you will barely have to even move to reach it!
8. Eat at least one serving of fruit every day. (E.g, 3pm = break for fruit)
There are many of us forgetting to eat fruit! Fruit is high in fibre for digestion, important vitamins and minerals for energy, and has been proven to lower the risks for many diseases like heart disease.
#2 Daily Habits for Mindfulness
Whether it’s setting a timer to do nothing for a few minutes, or using a guided meditation such as the Headspace App or youtube videos, this is perfect for reminding yourself to slow down. It could be 1-2 minutes short or even an hour long. Try to make it a part of your routine, e.g. meditate before breakfast or after dinner.
10. Don’t touch your phone until after breakfast
Phones are great, don’t get me wrong… but for me at least, mornings are so much better with just silence, a good breakfast and the peacefulness of sitting outside.
11. Go outside for at least 30 minutes
What’s there to fault in a little fresh air, some vitamin D or a change in scenery than the typical work desk? You could read a book, do some exercise, go for a walk, or even just bring the laptop to sit in the backyard/balcony.
#3 Daily Habits for Creativity
12. Set aside at least 15 minutes to do something you love, just for you
A lot of the time we push our hobbies or interests aside because there’s simply ‘no time.’ This year, intentionally make time and prioritise the things you want to do. It could be colouring in, painting, playing a musical instrument, gardening or even just pampering yourself.
13. Read 10 pages of a book
Reading is a great way to wind down and just escape for a little while. Try reading just before bed as a part of your daily routine.
14. Journal writing: morning/night pages
There’s just something so freeing about letting those thoughts out on paper. It might help you realise things about yourself you never noticed before, or decipher what’s really going on with your thoughts or emotions. Some people write as soon as they wake up, or just before bed.
#4 Habits for Knowledge/Productivity
15. Learn a new word each day
Keep a little notebook just for making lists of words to add to your vocabulary. English is such a complex language – there are so many words to know! You could do this if you’re learning a new language too.
16. Read over your school/exam notes each morning
Whether you have an exam coming up or not, it’s always good to refresh your mind on past topics by reading your notes before you head off to school. This really helped me, especially in my final year of high school.
17. Go over your to-do list/plans for the day
Write down 3 priorities for the day, your intentions and what you plan to get done. Remember to keep it realistic so you don’t get too overwhelmed or stressed!
18. Listen to a podcast while you get ready in the morning
Ah the world of podcasts, where have you been all my life? There’s just something so enlightening about listening to people discuss their views on different issues. My current favourite podcast is by The Minimalists.
And there you have it. 18 habits you could add to your day to turn those New Year’s Resolutions into lifestyle changes. Remember to start small and take things one at a time. Progress is slow but very worth it!
Love Miss Caly